China and Japan: 1450-1750

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Ap History Unit 6 Essay

When looking at the time period of 1450-1740, there were changes and continuities in China and Japan’s interaction with the West. China and Japan had continuous problems with Western Christian missionaries coming in and trying to convert. The Chinese and the Japanese also had many dilemmas with the Europeans’ interest in their products over time, especially when China and Japan started to get interested in silver. Some changes were that over time, the different methods that the Christian missionaries used to try to get the Chinese to convert changed. The Japanese’s view of the Christians changed over time, including some cultural aspects like clothing.

A significant continuity with China’s interaction with the West was of the Christian missionaries coming into the land and trying to convert the people. All through this time period, the Chinese isolated themselves from everyone else. But the Europeans were still interested in China for anyone who was interested in converting. The Europeans continuously tried to visit the Chinese coasts and visited the Ming emperors in their courts, to try to gain their trust and likeness so that the emperors would be influenced by the Christian missionaries and maybe get the whole of the Chinese population to convert to Christianity. Mostly the Franciscans and Dominicans won a good number of converts, but the Jesuits in Asia were a little less successful, especially in winning a small number of converts in the elite scholar-gentry. Japan also isolated themselves and stayed isolated. The Christian missionaries that came were constantly persecuted by Hideyoshi and continued by his son Ieyasu. Any European missionaries on the island were asked to leave; those who hid were hunted down and killed or driven out. Any converts had to give up the Christian faith or be killed.

The Europeans’ were interested in China’s products and only offered silver in exchange for the products, which were usually silk and...
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